Hospital Bills after an Accident: Is the Lien Valid?May 4, 2017
After being seriously hurt in an accident and receiving medical care, the provider – like a hospital – can file a lien against you or any accident-related claim you have initiated.
A hospital lien is basically a claim that a health care provider can place on a personal injury case. These liens are intended to compensate hospitals and other medical providers for the care they provide to accident victims.
In order for a hospital lien to be valid in Texas (according to the Hospital Lien Statute, Property Code 55), the following must apply:
- The injured person was admitted to the hospital within 72 hours of the accident for treatment of the injury (or injuries) sustained in the accident.
- The lien does not claim excessive fees for the services rendered.
- The lien has been filed with the county clerk (in the county where the hospital services were administered) before the victim is paid any compensation for his or her accident claim.
Please note that these are not the only requirements that have to be satisfied in order for hospital liens to be valid in Texas.
Revealing more about this aspect of personal injury cases, the following answers some common questions about medical liens. To get more answers specific to you and your situation, call a Houston personal injury lawyer at the Amaro Law firm at (713) 352-7975. You can also Contact Us.
How do I know if a medical lien has been placed on my claim?
You should receive a mailed notice regarding a hospital lien if one has been filed and attached to you or your claim. This is because, after a hospital files a lien, it is required to mail a notice of the lien to you (or your attorney).
You or your attorney can also search county records (for the county in which you received hospital treatment) to determine if any such lien has been filed.
What does a hospital lien cover?
If you were admitted to a hospital within 72 hours of the accident, a valid hospital lien can cover the care received during this admission. It can also cover any subsequent treatment you receive during follow-up hospitalizations (related to the treatment of the accident-related injuries).
How can the hospital lien affect my personal injury settlement?
If a valid hospital lien is filed, this means that the hospital’s right to financial recovery supersedes your rights to financial recovery if an award is secured for your claim.
In other words, if the claim results in compensation (via a settlement or verdict), the treating hospital(s) will have the right to be paid first before anyone, even you, receives any compensation (as long as the lien is valid).
What can I do to resolve the hospital lien?
Contact an attorney. When it comes to hospital liens (and other medical liens), the bottom line is that:
- These liens can be complicated and tricky – Misunderstanding how they work and how they can impact a personal injury award can compromise your financial recovery.
- An experienced lawyer can inform you of the options for resolving the lien – While an attorney can verify whether a lien is valid, (s)he can also explain the options for taking care of it. In some cases, lawyers may even be able to negotiate the liens down so victims can retain as much of their settlement (or awards) as possible.
Get More Answers: Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston personal injury lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to answer your questions and provide you with helpful information regarding your rights, claims, and recovery options.
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